“The most difficult thing for a Communist historian is to predict the past.”
Don’t ask me where I saw that quote but it applies directly to the Agincourt experience.
In the case of the community’s role as county seat, there have been three courthouses, but I can afford myself the luxury of knowing what #2 looked like without have more than a general notion of #1. So I could design an 1889 Richardsonian Romanesque building (in the style of William Halsey Wood, who never, to my knowledge, designed a public building, so I was pretty safe in that undertaking). I suspected that the previous building, dating from the 1860s, would have been an Italianate affair, with high ceilings, a nearly flat roof and heavily bracketed cornices. I just never got around to imagining it: something like this, only in wood. If anyone would like to try their hand at it, let me know.
My Richardsonian affair was loads of fun and, in my not-so-humble estimation, turned out pretty good.
Some months before the 2007 exhibit, Gordon Olschlager was passing through town and I had the opportunity to have dinner with him. He asked what I was up to these days — a foolish question, I know — so I told him about Agincourt and he immediately asked if we needed a courthouse. I said “Sure!” but that he’d have to decide when the 1889 building was struck by lightening and be ready for replacement. Some weeks later, a small crate arrived with this model inside: the third courthouse, circa 1967, in spectacular Mid-Century Modern style. Gordon’t story was even more exciting than the building itself, if that’s possible, but I’ll save that for another time. In the meantime, enjoy these photographs of the complex he conceived, which included county offices (recorder of deed, county assessor, etc.) and a separate court facility.
You’d think by now I could be consistent in spelling “court house” or “courthouse”.